Possible turntable upgrade....


Hi All,

So it started as a simple, 'buy some new speakers' impulse. Well, that escalated quickly!

Now, I am looking at my turntable as the possible weakest link. Would love your help/advice/input/experience on whether it's time to give up on my old, beloved c.1980's Linn LP12 that I have had since the mid 80s. The deck has Lingo 1 and Cirkus/Valhalla upgrades of note.

Details: LP12 as above, Graham Phantom arm, Clearaudio Concerto cart.

System: Aesthetix Janus (brand new) pre, BAT 250SE (w BAT-PAK) amp. Tara Labs throughout (recent upgrade) including phono cables, Vivid B1 speakers (Tara The 2 cables).

So, it seems that the Graham Phantom may be too much arm for the Linn (been told Linn is better with a lighter arm) so should I upgrade the deck to build the analog around the arm and take it to the level of the Aesthetix/Vivids etc? Basically, is my money better spent on a new deck as opposed to trying to upgrade an old design such as the Linn? Is the Linn now the weakest link in my system? 

If so, recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I know tastes come into it etc but hopefully my choice of Vivids etc give an insight. Especially love to hear from anyone with a Graham Phantom arm. Price range: as low as possible to make the necessary difference, definitely under $10k. Preferably closer to $5k. Of particular interest (but little listening experience) would be Clearaudio and Transrotor. Open to all ideas. All positive input is greatly appreciated.

Thank you all.  
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Thanks millercarbon. For me, it is an emotional decision far more than a logical decision. My first system was the Linn (Basik/K9) with NAD amps, which in those days (in London) were the amp to have if you couldn't afford the Naims or the Quads, and a pair of Rogers LS7's. The system rocked. Then came the CJ tube amp and I entered a whole other world. Everything now is different of course, the Linn is the last of my audio youth. But in trying to put together a system that will please me for the next period of time decisions have to be made... I enjoy this as a hobby but don't have the luxury of permanently switching and trying new gear. I just want to be happy with my system and enjoy great music. OMG... Is it sacrilegious to suggest happiness with a high-end audio system??? I apologize if I offended anyone with such a bizarre suggestion. 
Actually noromance you can kick the stand under a SOTA and as long as you do not kick the stand out from under it will continue along as if nothing happened. But, not only is it insensitive to this abuse it is also insensitive to everything else that is happening in the room like the music, your sub woofer and your mother in law screaming at you. So, even on a concrete floor it will out perform most other turntables. I have not heard one with the new bearing yet but I can't see how it would not be even better. Why it does not get the press it deserves is beyond me. Back in the early 80s when the Sapphire was initially released it was the darling of the audio press. It trounced tables three time the cost. It still does that but it does not have the reputation it deserves. The SME is a great table. It sounds every bit as good as the SOTA as far as I can tell and I think I should know as I have both of them. The SME is not as easy to live with as the SOTA and it is no where near as handsome as a SOTA in Ebony. The only problem that some might see in the SOTA is that it will only accept a 9 or 10" arm. I got the SME 30/12 because I wanted a longer heavier arm for low compliance cartridges like the Air Tight and I wanted to be able to AB cartridges. There are many who think the SME is the best table made and I love mine but it is no better than the SOTA and is three times the money in the US.
I have previously owned a LP12 back in the day and enjoyed the timing end engagement it brought to vinyl. Have now upgraded to an SME 20-3 with the SME V Arm. Certainly an improvement with much better detail, instrument placement but retaining the all important timing and engagement. Certainly a more stable deck than the LP12. Seems comparable with medium weight arms too.
Thanks for the feedback Kinross 
In 2013 the Spiral Groove SG2 turntable with Spiral Groove Centroid Arm really attracted my interest, and kept my interest for a number of years while I was looking to acquire one and finally did. I posted some attributes of the table and arm and my thoughts comparing it to a VPI Classic 3, FWIW. Since you are a Linn guy I figured you would appreciate the understated look of the table and arm.
Link to audiogon thread:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/how-do-you-like-your-vpi-classic-scout-scoutmaster-prime-tnt/...